Effects and potentials of self-created, heartfelt embodied prayers in times of uncertainty
Keywords:transpersonal, self-created prayer, experiential, creative, spiritual practice, body-mind-heart, transformative potential, non-denominational prayer
Can prayer offer a tool to enhance life-circumstances? This paper investigates different creative ways to develop prayer, as well as prayer's potential for psychological well-being, embodiment, transpersonal states and inner transformation. An experiential pilot study on self-created heartfelt embodied (SCHE) prayer was conceptualized and conducted with eight research participants over the course of six weeks during the uncertain times of COVID-19. Participants enacted four prayer cycles with the support of optional guidelines and two group prayer webinars. Their experience was documented with a prayer workbook and qualitative questionnaires. The present study applied a heuristic inquiry methodology beneficial for the investigation of unexplored territory. The article includes a descriptive analysis of three participants' lived experiences and insight into three types of group composite depictions. Significant findings are revealed via various creative and statistical representations of data. The results of this research suggest eight themes and processes, and identify connection as the core theme. Further highlighted themes include: relationship to self, depth and feeling, transformation, heartfelt experience, discovery and insight, finding my way/style, and transpersonal experiences (divine/source and nature/planet). The findings, which suggest a number of benefits, are discussed, and considered alongside other prayer approaches and contemporary evidence-based studies.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Jasmin Bloch
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